Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin (1922-1984)
Philip Larkin (1922-1984)

Philip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922, and educated at the King Henry VIII School, Coventry, and at St John’s College, Oxford Larkin was extremely impressed by
Kingsley Amis at Oxford and one can trace similarities between the anti-hero of Amis’s novels and the unromantic poetic persona of Larkin’s poems. While at oxford by
vernon w Larkin heard a talk by vernon Watkins on Yeats and was so influenced that he published his own ‘Yeatsian’ collection The North Ship in 1945 . However he
soon changed his loyalties to Thomas Hardy.

Larkin was a quiet and unassumingman working as a Librarian in places like Wellington,Belfast and finally Hull. It was his second volume of verse verse The Less
Deceived (1955) that brought him visibility, and two more volumes, The Whitsum Weddings (1964) and High Windows (1974) further cemented his reputation. Philip
Larkin hardly wrote any poetry in the last ten years of his life and told an interviewer in 1984.

Well, I haven’t given poetry up, but I ratherthink poetry has given me up,….. . I suppose the last substantial poem I wrote was about 1977, since which I haven’t really
been impelled to write anything, and I will stress the word ‘impelled’. I think you don’t write poems because you want or try to but you have to.

Described as ‘the saddest heart in the post-war supermarket’, Larkin died in 1985. Some recurring themes in the poetry of philip Larkin are the boredom of living in a
world which is devoid of sensitivity, the artificial nature of social behaviour, the hollowness of human wishes, the dilemmas and difficulties involved in making a choice,
slow decline, illness and ultimate death. When he was askedwhy he always wrote sad and bleak poems, he replied, ‘Actually I like to think of myself as quite funny and
I hope this come through in my writing. But it’s unhappiness that provoka poem.’ the positive and optimistic quality of larkin’s poetry is his unig capability to make his
poetry interesting, thought-provoking and highly readable inspite of the subjects he chooses to write about.